Nurse Education Today


With the continuing expansion of healthcare systems, accommodating new patients, treatments, and technologies, education for medical professionals has become critical. Nurses, who are on the frontlines and facing new challenges, require additional knowledge. The management of chronic diseases and injuries requires sophisticated and modern methods or treatments. Therefore, the IOM Future of Nursing recommendations was created to ensure the competency of the nursing workforce in the coming years.

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Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020

The recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to 80% by 2020 is difficult but realistic to achieve. I fit into this category since I am currently working on earning my college bachelor’s degree. This trend is being influenced by the fact that state and employee requirements for registered nurses call for enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program. Essentially, any potential career opportunities in the field will require a baccalaureate degree. I will continue to strive in achieving a higher level of education and encourage my peers in the field to do the same.

Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020

This recommendation calls for a doubling of the number of nurses with doctorate degrees by 2020. Less than 1% of nurses (approximately 28,000) hold doctoral degrees, despite 13% having a graduate education (Broome, 2012). Doctorates are rare because of the length of education required, high-pressure environment, and mainly a lack of concrete rewards. The professionals with this degree are forced to lead educational reform or conduct research. However, this allows for to creation of critical thinkers and scholars who can improve clinical practice and address various issues in nursing. Personally, I believe that these aspects are vital to the nursing field. Although I am not sure whether I would pursue the degree, I would encourage anyone with the opportunity to do so before 2020. Nurses with doctoral degrees can revolutionize an advanced clinical practice, as well as business and management aspects of healthcare.

Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning

Lifelong learning has become an expectation from nurses of all levels to ensure competency and professionalism in practice. There are a variety of learning strategies that may be fitting according to the individual and the situation. However, it has been shown to contribute to employee development that leads to improved care environment and patient outcomes. Lifelong learning is a dogma instilled in nursing students from the early days of education. It is a dynamic process that is established through the workplace culture and policies (Davis, Taylor, & Reyes, 2014). I will continue to engage in lifelong learning throughout my nursing career. This includes participation in research and initiative groups in attempts to improve clinical practice. Furthermore, I will seek to participate in collaborative learning and participate in professional development courses.

Current Job and Future of Nursing

Despite a nursing shortage nationwide, the RN job market remains a place of competition. Especially some localities that are near recognized nursing schools. My focus on receiving a nursing bachelor’s degree will provide me with some advantages in the market. As discussed earlier, a Bachelor of Science degree is becoming a common minimum eligibility requirement for RNs, especially those seeking an entry-level position in the industry. Some of the educational opportunities that the degree offers such as clinical rotations or professional networking are inherently beneficial in acquiring experience and having a rapport with local employers. Furthermore, increasing the level of education helps to enter more niche nursing specialties that require additional training. Various higher-level nursing professions, ranging from nurse manager to nurse anesthetist and nurse informaticist, offer significant opportunities and lucrative salary increases. However, they require higher levels of education and continuous dedication to professional improvement.


Broome, M. E. (2012). Doubling the number of doctorally prepared nurses. Nursing Outlook, 60(3), 111-113.

Davis, L., Taylor, H., & Reyes, H. (2014). Lifelong learning: A Delphi study. Nurse Education Today, 34(3), 441-445.

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